EA: Amaro did have a quiet Week 9 as the tight end was not targeted for the first time in his NFL career. Veteran Jeff Cumberland had two targets, but Mike Vick was able to get the ball often to both Percy Harvin (11 receptions) and Eric Decker (nine receptions) while Chris Johnson found his groove in the backfield. Amaro will be a factor down the stretch because Vick likes to get the ball to his tight ends. The rookie, making a transition from a simple spread at Texas Tech to OC Marty Mornhinweg's more complex attack, is second on the team with 32 receptions. Keep in mind that Ravens TE Owen Daniels had six receptions last weekend in their matchup with the Steelers.
EA: The National Football League is a passing league and the Jets rank last in the following three categories: pass offense (184.4 YPG), TD passes allowed (24) and interceptions (1). On top of that, the Green & White place 29th in pass plays of 20+yards (19) and they are T28 in 40+ pass plays allowed (9). For much of the season, the Jets have been victimized by the deadly combination of lack of takeaways and lack of explosive plays. They had solid players at many spots, but lacked that game-changer necessary. Maybe they have found their guy in Percy Havin, who registered 11 receptions and 129 yards vs. the Chiefs. It marked the first time since 2006 (Laveranues Coles) that a Jets had 11 receptions. Harvin is a burner and he almost got the Jets into the end zone himself on a 65-yard kickoff return.
Defensively, the Jets have been ravaged by injuries (Dee Milliner, Dexter McDougle & now Darrin Walls), an unexpected departure (Dimitri Patterson) and uneven play at the cornerback position. Last week, they started the second half with Marcus Williams and Josh Thomas on the outside. An undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State, Williams signed a week ago and had seven tackles against the Chiefs. Thomas signed with the Jets on Oct. 13 and Rex Ryan indicated he'll have an open audition at cornerback this week.
The Jets have played much more zone this season that at any point in the Rex Ryan era and we've seen much more contact by the linebackers at the line of the scrimmage as they try to re-route receivers.
EA: Jets CEO Woody Johnson — no matter what the external narrative is — will ultimately determine the right course of action for his franchise moving forward.
In his last public comments on Oct. 2, Johnson was asked if Idzik did enough this offseason to improve the Jets.
"When I grew up, I always had a reserve and you don't spend your last dollar," he said in reference to the team's cap surplus. "Some years you can spend it, some years you can't, but you can always roll it over. This money is still in the war chest to be used. We're committed to building a winning team and I think you know that."
Now five losses later, the Jets are 1-8 and have already been assured their fourth consecutive non-winning season. Idzik, who was hired on Jan. 18, 2013, has done some sound things during his tenure. While maintaining future cap flexibility, the Jets have upgraded their WR group in a big way with the additions of Eric Decker and Percy Harvin via free agency and trade respectively. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, whom the Jets selected No. 13 overall in the 2013 draft, took home Rookie of the Year Honors and he continues to progress while two-gapping in the trenches. Idzik got great value just a few months on the job, obtaining Chris Ivory from the Saints for a fourth-round pick.
Idzik wants to build through the draft and TE Jace Amaro (D2) is the rookie that has made the most significant impact in the 12-member 2014 class. Calvin Pryor (D1) earned the moniker 'Louisville Slugger' in Kentucky, but he has been forced to play in space much more than the Jets originally anticipated. After nine games, it would be presumptuous to rate a draft class. The Jets have high hopes for both OL Dakota Dozier (D4) and LB Ikemefuna Enemkpali (D6) while seventh-rounder Trevor Reilly has been active in seven contests.
Quarterback Geno Smith (D2, 2013) lost his starting job after committing 37 turnovers in 24 games and CB Dee Milliner (D1, No. 9), LG Brian Winters (D3) & FB Tommy Bohanon (D7) are all on injured reserve. The Jets have struggled at the QB and CB positions, and they needed both Smith and Milliner to have productive years.
EA: What is the message a team sends to its fan base and to prospective free agents by intentionally not trying to win games?
Feel your frustration, but history tells us there are no sure things in the draft. And not to go all philosophical on you, but I don't understand how any competitor wouldn't want to improve each and every day.
'I think for us, it's really an opportunity to test yourself as a man," OLB Jason Babin told the media this week. 'Things are difficult. Life's difficult. This experience and time we have in the NFL is short-lived. So I think it's a good opportunity to take that situation and to grow as men.
"This isn't what we're going to do forever. We're all going to have to have jobs eventually. How you answer each and every day from here on out, I think, is going to speak volumes for your character.'